Monday, May 11, 2015

Rhubarb Custard Torte

There are so many recipes for rhubarb. Many families have a recipe that their mother or grandmother made. I love rhubarb and was so happy when the rhubarb I planted in my garden several years ago was big enough to harvest. Always on the lookout for a new recipe to try, this past week I found one in a food publication email. What caught my attention was that it had originated from a cook in Wisconsin. Karma

The shortbread base, custardy filling and the meringue-like top were delicious!  Meant to be eaten with a fork, I couldn't help but cut off the corner after it cooled and eat it with my fingers. You know when that first bite is an 'Ahhhh" moment! By the way, it holds together very well when eating it with your fingers :)  It truly needs no other enhancements like whipping cream or ice cream, but feel free. 

After taking these photos, and also eating the slice above, I quickly wrapped up the rest to take to my daughter's home for our Mother's Day dinner celebration before I could nibble it all up.  The story behind this torte recipe is wonderful and a tribute to the author's mother.  Click here if you'd like to read it.

The recipe makes enough for a 9 x 13 inch pan so would be perfect for a Memorial Day picnic or BBQ.  Even my husband, who does not like rhubarb, ate two pieces! What was left, my daughter took to work to share today.  Although she did confess it might not make it there :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day...I certainly did :)

Rhubarb Custard Torte

Note:  I adapted this recipe slightly by using part brown sugar in the custard and I also added fresh strawberries in addition to the rhubarb.

Makes 1 9-inch by 13-inch torte

For the custard:

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt 
3 cups fresh rhubarb, preferably red, sliced into pieces about a quarter-inch wide
1 cup fresh strawberries, halved and sliced a quarter-inch wide

For the crust

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 C flour
7 T sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F. 

To make the custard, beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the sugar. Cream that combination slightly then add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then, add the rhubarb and strawberries and mix together. Allow the mixture to sit for about 30 minutes, so the rhubarb and strawberries have a chance to release their juices slightly.

To make the crust, cut the butter into the flour and sugar, as you would a pie crust. The butter should be cold.  You can use a pastry cutter or just blend with your fingers until it resembles course meal. Press this into a 9" by 13" pan.

Pour the custard over the crust and smooth it evenly.  Bake at 350°F for 30–45 minutes (mine took a full 45 minutes). Bake it long enough so that the torte is set and slightly golden, but not toasty brown. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Whole Wheat Hamburgers Buns for the Bread Machine

For many of us, getting together on Mother's Day means having a picnic or barbecue, weather permitting (fingers crossed as that's what our plans are).  That will mean hamburgers, bratwurst, chicken breast, etc. on the grill.  Today, I have a delicious and very easy recipe for hamburger or hot dog buns using your bread machine.  If you don't have one, I'm sure you can make these by mixing the ingredients by hand and kneading the dough. These are definitely worth a 5 star rating!

I put off buying my bread machine for years but I'm so glad I finally took the plunge.  I use the 'dough' setting so often!  I know I've bragged out my bread machine before, but it is relatively inexpensive and a real workhorse and time-saver for me!

After the dough cycle is finished, the dough formed into balls and and allowed to rise until doubled in size under plastic wrap.  Then, I like to brush them with an egg wash and sprinkle them with sesame seeds before baking.

We used the first batch I made for some pulled pork shoulder that I had in the freezer and my husband commented on how delicious the buns were!  The recipe calls for all shortening, which makes them super delicious and our favorite, but I have also made them with half shortening and half butter with good results also.  Your choice! 

Whether you spend Mother's Day with family, friends, furbabies or plant babies, I wish you all a wonderful, spring day this Sunday!

Whole Wheat Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns

Adapted from Bread Machine Magic
Printable Recipe

This recipe will yield either 10 hamburger buns or 12 hot dog buns (or make some of each!)

1 cup water
1 egg
1/4 cup shortening, such as Crisco (or use 2 tablespoons shortening and 2 tablespoons butter)
1 cup whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour)
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 envelope rapid-rise or quick-rising yeast (2-1/2 oz)
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup sugar

1 small egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash (optional)
Sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

Place all ingredients in bread pan, according the your machine's directions.  For my machine, I put the liquid ingredients in first, followed by the dry ingredients.  Select the Dough setting and start the machine.  When the dough cycle has completed, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into individual pieces - 10 pieces for hamburger buns or 12 pieces for hot dog buns. I like to weigh each piece of dough on a digital scale to get them the same size - approximately 2 to 2-1/2 ounces each.  Tuck the outsides under and gently form into balls for buns or shape into logs for hot dog buns.  Hamburger buns should be flattened slightly after forming. Here is a good tutorial on how to shape hot dog buns:

Place the formed buns on a silipat or parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F about 10-12 minutes before the buns are finished rising.
If desired, brush the buns with an egg wash and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

Bake buns in preheated 400°F oven and bake buns for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Time may vary depending on your oven.

Remove from oven and cool on racks. These will keep a few days in the refrigerator or freeze up to a month frozen in a single layer in freezer bags.

Note:  If you don't have a bread machine but have a stand mixer with dough hook, you can use the ingredients in this recipe and follow the directions on the King Arthur website to mix the dough and continue with this recipe after the first rise: